id: 06135036
dt: j
an: 2013a.00860
au: Kehle, Paul
ti: Nobel prize in chemistry for discovery of quasicrystals: mathematicians
were there first.
so: Consortium, No. 102, 13-17 (2012).
py: 2012
pu: COMAP (Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications), Bedford, MA
la: EN
cc: M65 G95
ut: chemistry; mathematical applications; tilings; tessellations
ci:
li:
ab: Summary: The Nobel prize in chemistry was awarded to Israeli chemist Dan
Shechtman for his discovery of quasicrystals in 1982. A quasicrystal is
a highly structured locally symmetric material lacking the global
periodicity that had traditionally defined crystals. His unexpected
discovery of quasicrystalline structure in a substance he synthesized
in the laboratory shook the foundations of crystallography and led to a
revolutionary redefinition of what crystals are. At first,
quasicrystals were thought to exist only as “artificial" products of
laboratory experiments; but in 2009, a geologist discovered naturally
occurring quasicrystals in Russia. The study of quasicrystals continues
to grow today within both pure and applied sciences, but the
mathematical study of the fascinating properties of aperiodic patterns
dates to 1973 and a discovery by the mathematician and physicist Roger
Penrose. The topic of aperiodic patterns is a rich one, accessible to
high school students and can range from decorative work with patterns
to unsolved problems at the frontiers of mathematics.
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